Everton are not a side that can afford players to stroll through games, out of form and not really adding anything in the final third. Nikica Jelavic has to hit form if Everton are going to maintain a push for a European place and there are several things they can try to get him firing again.
Temporarily Drop Him
Temporarily dropping him into the reserves could have the effect of making him angry and determined, as well as allowing him to hit some form. He’s far too good a player to be playing reserve level football which means he shouldn’t have much problem finding the back of the net.
A few goals in the reserve side could mean Jelavic’s confidence starts to increase and doubled with that determination, he could be itching to prove the club and manager wrong for dropping him in the first place.
One obvious method is persistence, which means just keep playing him and sooner or later he’ll hit the back of the net and get some form. This is the most dangerous of all the options because the club can’t afford many more slip ups over the remainder of the season.
Jelavic will already be aware of the pressure every time he’s selected so he should already have good determination levels to put his poor spell of form right.
David Moyes could try basing the tactics of the team around him, so ultimately he ends up with more chances to score goals. However, changing the methods and style of the team for the sake of one player is something Moyes may not be willing to do.
The simple message of getting the ball into him as quickly will give him the best chance of being effective in the final third and it’s not a complex tactic. Jelavic is good on the ball and can bring others into the game effectively.
Moyes does have the option of putting Jelavic on the bench routinely and seeing what sort of reaction he gets from his striker. This is something that plenty of experienced managers have done in the past.
Jelavic should react positively and show the same determination that would result from a spell in the reserves. However, the difference here is that he’s still involved in and around the first team which should keep him a little happier.
Everton fans, how should your club use Jelavic?
image: © fabiopao